To the editor:
Although I have not agreed with the current administration's tactics and policies concerning the golf course, they needed the benefit of the doubt.
I thought that the open house held on April 19 was a very good idea. It would get people together, talk, join the course for the coming year, and help people forget about all the distractions concerning our course.
During the open house there was a question-and-answer session held by Ms. Russo. There were may tough questions and she handled them all with respectful answers.
I was disappointed that there was confusion and lack of knowledge by the members of the golf commission on what the exact rules and fees were for the coming year. I asked a question of two of the members and got two different answers. I asked another question of a commission member and was told that they do not know. There also seems to be confusion with members of the Common Council as to exactly what was passed as far as rules for the golf course. The commissioners and Common Council should get on the same page and help eliminate confusion rather than adding to it.
It was especially disappointing that Mayor Thane did not attend the open house. It would have been good to have an open dialogue with the mayor and commissioners. They could have gotten valuable feedback from the members that support the course.
I must say that I am not surprised that Mayor Thane did not attend. She appears to give the perception of caring about the course, but her actions do not bear this out. She routinely gives the impression that she does not listen at Common Council meetings when people speak about the course, choosing to take notes, smile and talk to her legal council.
If Mayor Thane is wondering why there is such contempt for her policies concerning the golf course, it is because people believe she has fallen prey to hubris.
Robert Karutis, Amsterdam
Open house ends on a bad note
To the editor:
On Saturday, April 19, the Golf Commission hosted an open house at the Muni clubhouse. The commission wanted to reach out to current and potential members and start the season off on a positive note.
Laura Elmendorf generously opened the clubhouse and donated food. Joe Merendo, the Golf Commission, and Mayor Thane donated items for a raffle for all in attendance. It was a beautiful spring day and over 150 people attended. Friends reconnected and a good time was had by all.
Michele Russo of the Golf Commission conducted a question-and-answer session and did a great job fielding some tough questions from the group.
Just as Michele was wrapping up, Alderman Ron Barone suddenly burst upon the scene without a hello or how do you do. Mr. Barone entered into a loud and public diatribe against the Golf Commission and their involvement in the operation of the course. He was rude, belligerent and publically spewed profanities at the Golf Commission and its members. Over 100 people witnessed Mr. Barone's tirade. A few of the attendees applauded and encouraged him on, while most were shocked, offended and embarrassed at his outburst and slowly made their way out.
What started as a great event, a welcome to the golf season and a congenial atmosphere, turned sour. All of this due to the actions and language of an elected official of the city of Amsterdam. How can we expect to have an open dialogue and effect positive change when people who have volunteered their time and services are treated so disrespectfully? The Golf Commission has continued to make suggestions and recommendations in a professional, good faith and polite manner to further the success of the Muni.
Why is Mr. Barone stubbornly attempting to undercut any and all efforts being made to improve the efficient operation of the golf course, its sustainability, and the players' experience? Why is he so adamant and unwilling to work with the commission? How can Mr. Barone's behavior possibly add any professionalism to the operation and customer experience at the course?
I would hope that civility and common sense will prevail so we can work together toward our common goal. The majority of the members and taxpayers have no interest in this continual saga.
Pamela M. Ritter, Amsterdam
The writer is vice chairwoman of the Amsterdam Golf Commission.